a fragment

I. Eli

“Can one truly describe an emotion?” Eli asked me over the walkie-talkie. He was in the bathroom, & had taken the walkie-talkie in with him absent-mindedly. I could hear sounds of his piss hitting the toilet water.

“I can hear you peeing,” I said. He didn’t answer so I said in apology, “It’s okay. Humans are sexually dimorphic.” I was sitting on my blue baby blanket texting Jon, who was funny and amicable over the phone. He made a three-message joke about greedy lawyers and I would have been laughing if not for my embarrassment toward Eli. He finally came out of the bathroom and kept his eyes straight ahead, toward the wall calendar and not at me, as he passed through the family room into his bedroom, were he shut the door quietly. Presently I heard some muffled noise as he turned on his iPod. I guessed he didn’t feel like talking so I stayed on my blanket watching the Price is Right and texting Jon.

Drew Carrey was doing his wrap-up speech on TV when Eli finally came out of his room, red puffy streaks covering his face. His eyes and nose were red too, which was almost festive against the pale green and white of the wallpaper. I had been laughing at the goofy costumes on the Price is Right and the jokes Jon was texting me, but when Eli came out of the room I stopped and just looked at him as well as I could. He was staring at my right shoulder as he said, “Go home now.”


I said go home now. I don’t want you here anymore, because I just remembered I have someone coming over and I have to clean.”

“Look, Eli, I’m sorry—”

“It doesn’t have anything to do with you, I swear. Just go, okay? Go home now.”

I got up and tried to give him a hug but he withdrew from me sharply. So I walked around the coffee table as he sat down, not looking at me anymore, and stared at the blank TV. The blanket I had been sitting in was crumpled next to him like a dead bird. I opened my mouth but thought better of talking, and closed the door behind me slowly.

II. Dimorphic

Oranges. Poison. A compromisebetween Mary & Judas. Bluebaby blankets swaddling greedy lawyers.

Can one truly describe an emotion?I cut my ankle with a razor blade.I can only go one at a time. Humanityhas a seething mass of eelsfor a brain, mating in the water so forcefullythat it could drown you under the moon.

III. Declaration of Poetry

You have to go one line at a time, and you have to start on the first or second line.